World Racing Guide: Tips at Ascot and Gulfstream

There's plenty of racing to get stuck into in the United States this evening.
There's plenty of racing to get stuck into in the United States this evening.

Having picked out two winners in Australia on Friday morning, Nick Seddon heads around the world to pick out his best bets on what should have been Grand National Saturday...

Ascot (Australia)

We may be without any racing in the UK and Ireland for the foreseeable, but we do have some familiarity in name alone this morning, as the action at the Australian Ascot comes to a close. He's likely to be a short price, but it's difficult to look past the three-year-old Laverrod in the final race on the card, over five and a half furlongs (10:20). Admittedly, he was a beaten odds-on favourite over six furlongs here last month, though he looks worth forgiving for that considering he could well have been unfortunate to bump into a particularly upwardly-mobile type in Cliffs Of Comfort. He's tasked with carrying noticeably less weight here, and from a plum inside draw, he's fancied to make it two wins from his last three starts.

Ascot Tips

Ascot Race 9 (10.20) - back Laverrod at 5/4

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Gulfstream Park (United States)

We're back at good old Gulfstream for a 12-race card this evening, which is slightly more low key than last week's stellar offering. Indeed, we begin proceedings with a lowly maiden over a mile (17:45), though Blessed Journey ought to take all of the beating. It's eight starts and counting without a win for the three-year-old, but he's very difficult to knock on what he's shown so far, and he is generally there or thereabouts in his runs - including over course and distance. Dropped in class here, he can make it ninth time lucky and get off the mark. 

Thirty minutes later, Peppi The Hunter is another who makes plenty of appeal (18:15). A really consistent type, the seven-year-old has been consistently hitting the frame of late, including over course and distance the last twice in races stronger than this. He's having his first start for a new yard this afternoon, and it would be disappointing if he is unable to build on his good recent efforts by taking this. 

In race six, it's difficult to look past the newcomer Bardot, who represents powerful connections (20:15). She makes plenty of appeal on paper, and although she's facing a host of more-experienced rivals this evening, the Todd Pletcher team is more than capable of readying one on debut, and bearing in mind her strength in the market this morning, she gets the vote to take this. 

Thirty-two minutes later is race seven (20.47), another claimer over a mile, in which I'm The Captain Now catches the eye. He's yet to pick up a win in nine starts, though he's shown plenty to work on - placing on five occasions - and took a notable step forward when producing a career-best effort to finish a close second over half a furlong further here last month. A repeat performance here would make him very difficult to beat, and provided he's in the same mood, he can pick up a deserved success.

Last but not least, Inter Miami can bounce back to winning ways in the 21.49. He was flying too high in the Cutler Stakes over a mile here last week, though it's worth noting that all three of his defeats have come in much loftier assignments than this, and returned to much calmer waters this evening, he can show his class and pick up a third career success.

Gulfstream Park Tips

Gulfstream Race 1 (17:45) - back Blessed Journey at 15/8

Gulfstream Race 2 (18:15) - back Peppi The Hunter at 2/1

Gulfstream Race 6 (20:15) - back Bardot at 15/8

Gulfstream Race 7 (20:47) - back I'm The Captain Now at 5/2

Gulfstream Race 9 (21:49) - back Inter Miami at 5/2

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Sha Tin (Hong Kong, Sunday morning)

There's an excellent card at Sha Tin in the early hours of Sunday morning, as the course warms up for the Queen Elizabeth II Cup meeting at the end of the month. There's two Group 2 races on the card, beginning with the Chairman's Cup (6.45am, Sunday). It's very difficult to look past the Stewards' Cup winner Waikuku, who looks to have a favourite's chance. He shaped as though there's more to come from him yet when winning by a neck that day, and bearing in mind that he's drawn well here and has trialled well twice since, he can continue on his upward trajectory by taking this. 

In race four (7.15am, Sunday), Ka Ying Excellent makes plenty of appeal. He's been shaping well of late, placing in three of his last four starts, and he produced his best effort yet to finish second over course and distance last time out. This race looks no stronger, and from a good draw and with the highly capable Zac Purton booked to ride, he's a confident selection. 

The second Group 2 contest on the card is the Sprint Cup (9.10am, Sunday), in which the favourite Aethero will take all of the beating. He already boasts Group 2-winning form over course and distance, having won the Jockey Club Sprint last November, and he followed that up with a fine effort to finish third in the Hong Kong Sprint in his final start under Rules a month later. He has to prove his fitness here arriving fresh, but this should suit his front-running style and he's fancied to show his class by taking this.

Last but not least, El Jefe can win the eighth race on the card (9.40am, Sunday). He looked a potentially useful type when getting off the mark at the fourth time of asking over a furlong shorter here in February, staying on well in the closing stages to get up by just under a length. There still looks to be plenty more to come from him yet, and he's fancied to notch up back-to-back wins. 

Sha Tin Tips

Sha Tin Race 3 (6.45am, Sunday) - back Waikuku at 5/6

Sha Tin Race 4 (7.15am, Sunday) - back Ka Ying Excellent at 6/4

Sha Tin Race 7 (9.10am, Sunday) - back Aethero at 10/11

Sha Tin Race 8 (9.40am, Sunday) - back El Jefe at 9/2

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